[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/10/09/nobel.peace.prize/art.obama.mideast.gi.jpg caption="Obama with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month."]
Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas: "Nothing has changed in the Obama administration's policies from previous U.S. governments, except statements, promises and hopes."
Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman: "We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan…We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama."
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter: "It is a bold statement of international support for his vision and commitment to peace and harmony in international relations."
Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore: "I think it will take some time before people put together all the different moves that linked his speech at the U.N. on the abolishing of nuclear weapons, his shift on the missile defense program in Eastern Europe and the movement of Russia to joining the international consensus that confronted Iran to abide by the nonproliferation treaty."
Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel: "You have given inspiration to people all over the world until now and winning this prize is an expression of the hope that your presidency will promote a new era of peace and placation."
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany: "There is still much left to do, but a window of possibility has been opened."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy: said the decision represented the "return of America into the hearts of the people of the world."
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: Hoped the award would help Obama "to contribute to establishing regional peace in the Middle East and a settlement between us and the Palestinians that will bring security, prosperity and growth to all the peoples of the region".
Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee: “The real question Americans are asking is, ‘What has President Obama actually accomplished?’ It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights…One thing is certain — President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.”
John McCain, AZ Senator (R): “I think part of their decision-making was expectations. And I’m sure the president understands that he now has even more to live up to.”
Lech Walesa, the 1983 peace prize winner and Poland’s president from 1990 to 1995: “Who, Obama? So fast? Too fast — he hasn’t had the time to do anything yet.
Mohamed Elbaradei, the director-general of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, who received the prize in 2005: “…absolutely delighted.”
President Shimon Peres of Israel: “Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such a profound impact. You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope, with intellectual determination, and a feeling that there is a lord in heaven and believers on earth.”
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General: offered his wholehearted congratulations. “This is great news for President Obama, for the people of the United States, and for the United Nations…President Obama embodies the new spirit of dialogue and engagement on the world’s biggest problems: climate change, nuclear disarmament and a wide range of peace and security challenges.”
Desmond Tutu: “It’s an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution toward making our world a safer place for all…It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama’s message of hope.”
Khaled Al-Batsh, a leader of the militant Islamic Jihad in Gaza: condemned the award, saying it “shows these prizes are political, not governed by the principles of credibility, values and morals…Why should Obama be given a peace prize while his country owns the largest nuclear arsenal on earth and his soldiers continue to shed innocent blood in Iraq and Afghanistan?”
Vatican Press Office: “The awarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace to President Obama is greeted with appreciation in the Vatican, in light of the commitment demonstrated by the President for the promotion of peace in the international arena, and in particular also recently in favor of nuclear disarmament. It's hoped that this very important recognition will further encourage that commitment, which is difficult but fundamental for the future of humanity, so that the desired results will be obtained.”
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